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Retained Object Following Surgery

Medical malpractice can take many forms, and one form is a retained object. A retained object is a foreign body left in the patient's body following a surgery, during delivery of a baby or other procedure. Some common examples are: clamps, gauze, sponges, needles, tubing and surgical equipment. Sometimes, the surgical team will realize their mistake shortly after the procedure, but in other cases it is not discovered until months or years later. During that time, the patient suffers with pain and other complications without understanding the cause. Oftentimes, the doctors and nurses are dismissive of the complaints and simply chalk them up to exaggerations or psychological issues with the patient. But, retained objects can cause significant problems including extreme pain, life-threatening infections, fistulas or small bowel obstructions, visceral perforations and additional surgeries to remove the object and correct complications.

If you or a loved one has recently undergone a surgical procedure, you should know that certain circumstances increase the likelihood of a foreign body being left behind:

  • Emergency surgeries
  • Unplanned changes in the surgical procedure
  • Increased blood loss during surgery
  • Patients with a higher body mass index
  • Multiple surgical teams performing the same or multiple procedures at the same time.

And, while a foreign object can be left during any surgical procedure, the most common locations are the abdomen/pelvis, vagina and the thorax.

The occurrence of retained objects is completely preventable and usually constitutes medical malpractice. Oftentimes, the surgeon or hospital will offer to pay for any medical costs associated with removing the retained object. Do not be tempted to simply accept such an offer as you may be entitled to additional compensation including damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, future medical care, etc. If you or a family member has been the victim of a retained object, contact one of our experienced injury attorneys to discuss your rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled. John Day is board-certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, and he also testified in front of the Tennessee Legislature on the recent changes to the medical malpractice laws. To assist with medical questions and issues, we employ a nurse on staff full-time. Our reputable injury attorneys know how to get results -- we have recovered more than $100 million dollars for our satisfied clients. Contact us online or call us today at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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